“technology” articles

Watch out for Python's fcntl.flock on Solaris


I encountered a very aggravating problem in which it looked like Python's fcntl.flock was simply not working, for an unknown reason. I finally figured it out, and this is what I learned.

Using 7z for strong encryption in ZIP files


Some situations may require strong encryption in ZIP files, but the common zip utility available on GNU systems does not support strong encryption. Thankfully, 7-Zip and P7ZIP are Free Software projects that fill this niche. This essay provides a brief overview of how to find and use 7z, which both projects provide, for this purpose.

Eliminating some duplicates with the RecentSet class


In some situations, it may make sense to try to significantly reduce the number of duplicates in a collection, while ensuring that memory usage does not increase without bound. To help with this, I created a Python utility called a RecentSet, which serves as a sort of first-pass filter for significantly reducing the number of duplicates in a collection.

Safe and powerful use of xargs with bash and find


This article provides a detailed examination of one use-case that combines xargs with bash and find, taking care to correctly handle strings that are passed between these utilities.

Some thoughts on XML v.NEXT


In which I comment on the changes that have been suggested for a major revision to XML.

Resolving URIs in 4Suite


This article describes how to customize the way that 4Suite finds objects associated with URIs (a process known as resolving URIs).

Personal Backups with S3


So, Amazon's S3 service is described as providing cheap, scalable data storage for "external developers of any application". But isn't it a great solution for personal data backup, as well?

WebCap: Web-based Capability List File Format and Model


This document defines WebCap, a simple language for explicitly grouping sets of URIs having a specific relationship to one another for a particular purpose.

XHTML to XForms in XSLT 1


A new utility written in XSLT 2 blipped across my radar, and I just had to see if I could pull it in using my XSLT 1 tractor beam. No sweat; this time I didn't even have to use EXSLT.

KDE 4 Build Status


The trunk line of KDE development is being used actively for developing KDE 4, which may be released late this year or early next year. The KDE build documentation warns that "the trunk" is very buggy and may not work at all. This article describes a successful build of the current state of some KDE 4 components, and gives some building and development pointers from a newcomer's point-of-view.

An Audio Input Under Linux Success Story, a Long Time in Coming


With a lot of hand holding, I was finally able to get my soundcard to accept microphone input under Linux. Here's how.

Common Entities Converted to ML-Macros


This article highlights a set of common XML character entities that I have converted to use the ml-macro syntax.

Dropping in <!DOCTYPE>-Dropping Alternatives


A fundamental question moves one researcher to explore the future of XML with the future of XSLT, which in turn moves another researcher to explore alternate XSLT futures.

Panning for EXSLT List Gold


This document describes and tracks EXSLT issues that need attention.

Tracing the Course of Recent XBEL Development


This document attempts to summarize activity surrounding the XBEL bookmark format since 2001.

xml:base vs. RFC 3986 Grudge Match


The spirit of the xml:base Recommendation and that of RFC 3986 are at odds with one another. The solution? A very simple new member of the URI family of specifications.

An Overrideable Alternative to the property Function in Python


This article describes an alternative to Python's built-in property function which allows the user to override, in derived classes, the methods used by this function.

A-prefixed URIs: Overview


People want to be able to take web identifiers, or Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), and copy them into their web browsers to obtain information related to such identifiers. Designating similar but not identical URIs to those used to locate documents may help in solving some web architecture problems. This report summarizes these problems and discusses this solution proposal.

Using xmlcatalog


This article provides several example command lines as a quick reference for xmlcatalog.